Recent Lawsuits/Cases - Part 4

Wrongful Death

Suit Filed Against Patriots in Man’s Death

A Massachusetts woman has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the New England Patriots, the NFL and others claiming her husband’s cardiac arrest was precipitated by interaction with a confrontational security guard. The man and his 6-year old son, who had been invited onto the field by NFL officials, were confronted by a security guard claiming they did not have the proper credentials to be on the field. Returning to his seat after the confrontation, the man suffered from cardiac arrest and died. The plaintiff is seeking at least $10 million.

Wire Report, Boston Herald 08/22/2013

Suit Filed over Death of 10-Year Old IL Boy

An Illionois family is filing suit against the Fox Waterway Agency and Spring Lake Marina for the death of their ten-year old son. In July 2012, the boy was run over by an intoxicated boater in Petite Lake while tubing with his family. The plaintiffs say the marina misrepresented itself as family-friendly while knowing the dangers of intoxicated boaters. There is a public hearing on boating safety legislation is scheduled for Aug 29, 2013.

Lisa Black, Chicago Tribune 08/22/2013

Laws/Cases

Suits Filed over Destroyed Samples at Hospital Sperm Bank

A group of Illinois men have filed 40 lawsuits against Northwestern Memorial Hospital after their sperm samples were destroyed when a tank at the hospital failed. The plaintiffs in the suit say the sperm in the bank was “their one and only shot for most of them or many of them to have a biological family of their own” due to illnesses or treatment. The suit is seeking unspecified damages.

Michelle Manchir, Chicago Tribune 08/20/2013

Suit: Austin Cop Shot at Man During Traffic Stop

n Austin man has filed suit against a local police officer who fired his gun at the plaintiff during a routine traffic stop. The plaintiff says he exited his truck when pulled over and the officer immediately jumped out of his patrol car and fired a shot at the man. The officer has been placed on non-patrol duties while the incident is being investigated. The suit is seeking unspecified damages.

Shelton Green, KVUE-TV 08/20/2013

Diamond Foods Settles Suit for $96 Million

Diamond Foods Inc has agreed to pay almost $96 million to settle a lawsuit related to an accounting scandal that plagued the company last year. The scandal involved the “improper accounting of payments to walnut farmers” and led to a restatement that wiped out $56.5 million in profit from 2010 and 2011. The scandal claimed the jobs of the company’s top two executives and caused a planned purchase of the Pringles brand to fall through.

Former Athlete Files Suit Against Xavier University

Former Xavier University basketball player Dez Wells has filed suit against the school over an investigation into sexual assault allegations that got him expelled. In his suit, Wells claims the school “rushed the judiciary process and conducted a flawed investigation after a fellow student accused Wells of sexual assault.” Criminal charges were not filed against Wells and the Ohio prosecutor issued a statement last year condemning the university’s actions against Wells. The suit is seeking financial damages and an apology from the school.

Alex Prewitt, The Washington Post 08/21/2013

Products

Wearable Infant Blankets Recalled

The Consumer Product Safety Commission has issued a recall of about 27,000 HALO SleepSack Wearable Blankets for infants due to a choking hazard. The blankets, sold exclusively at Babies R Us, have floral petals on them that can detach, posing a choking hazard. There have been six reports of petals falling off the blanket and one report of an infant gagging on a detached petal.

Staff Report, PR Newswire 08/21/2013

Hyundai Recalls 240,000 Vehicles

Automaker Hyundai has issued a recall of almost 240,000 Sonata and Azera vehicles due to a rusting problem with the rear suspension. The recall affects vehicles from model years 2006-2011. The company said road salt and water in states in the Midwest and Northeast can enter portions of the rear crossmember, leading to rust and corrosion which can cause problems with the rear wheel alignment.

Jerry Hirsch, LA Times 08/19/2013

Laws/Cases

Jury Rules in Favor of Deaf Woman in Missouri

A Missouri jury has ruled in favor of a local woman who filed suit against a local nursing school, claiming she was dismissed from the program because she is deaf. In her suit, the woman said the school failed to provide “reasonable accommodations that would have allowed her to complete the program.” The jury awarded $50,000 to the plaintiff.

Wire Report, Kansas City Star 08/18/2013

Police Accused of Warrantless Search in Utah

A lawsuit has been filed against the West Valley City Police Department in Utah by a local man who claims officers conducted an illegal search of his home. According to the suit, officers followed him home one day last August and “ransacked the house without a warrant looking for drugs.” The plaintiff and his girlfriend were handcuffed for more than eight hours and arrested on drug charges, but the charges were later dismissed.

Jennifer Dobner, The Salt Lake Tribune 08/17/2013

Damages in FL Wrongful Death Suit Reduced to $200K

A Florida appeals court has reduced an award of $10 million in damages in a wrongful death suit against University of Central Florida to $200,000. The panel ruled that the university’s “power of control over its athletics association is sufficient for sovereign immunity afforded to state agencies in civil judgments.” Any awards over the $200,000 mark will now have to be approved by the Florida state legislature.

Morning-After Pill Law Temporarily Blocked in OK

A county judge in Oklahoma has blocked a new state law that affects access to the morning-after pill. The state law requires women under 17 to have a prescription to obtain the pill, which contradicts a federal law that approves unrestricted over-the-counter access to emergency contraceptives. The judge issued a temporary order preventing the enforcement of the law.

Tim Talley, Houston Chronicle 08/19/2013

Products

Chocolate Covered Blueberries Recalled

See’s Candies, Inc., has issued a recall of all its Dark Chocolate Blueberries due to an undeclared allergen present in the chocolate. The company said the chocolate contains milk, which isn’t listed on the ingredients label. The products were distributed across the country through See’s Candies retail stores.

Staff Report, PR Newswire 08/18/2013

Wrongful Death

Wrongful Death Suit Filed in Niagara Falls

A wrongful death suit has been filed over a pedestrian fatality that occurred on Hyde Park Boulevard in Niagara Falls in 2011. The lawsuit claims the pedestrian was hit by a truck driven by another local man and died in a hospital eight days later. The suit is seeking unspecified damages.

Staff Report, Buffalo News 08/16/2013

Laws/Cases

Suit Coming Against Zimmerman Prosecutors

A former employee of the Florida Attorney General has announced he will file a whistleblower lawsuit against prosecutors in the George Zimmerman case. The plaintiff said he was fired after testifying at a hearing about the prosecution’s failures to turn over evidence to the defense. Attorney General Angela Corey has already faced pressure and criticism from legal experts for her unsuccessful prosecution in the case, and Zimmerman’s defense team has called for sanctions against her.

Chris Francescani, Reuters 07/16/2013

School District in Chicago Settles Firing Lawsuit

Plainfield School District 202 in Chicago has agreed to pay $264,500 to settle a lawsuit filed by six female campus monitors who were fired three years ago. The women claimed in their suit that their firings were in violation of employee contracts because “they had more seniority than some of their male counterparts who were not laid off.”

Alicia Fabbre, Chicago Tribune 07/17/2013

Labor/Employment

Chattanooga Settles City Discrimination Lawsuit

The Chattanooga City Council has voted to pay $725,000 to settle a discrimination lawsuit with 10 local police officers. The plaintiffs in the suit claimed the department had refused to promote any white police officers to high-ranking positions in 2005. The suit said a promotion freeze had been put in place, but then-Police Chief Steve Parks lifted the freeze “to promote a black officer from lieutenant to captain.”

Joy Lukachuck, Chattanooga Times Free Press 07/16/2013

Products

795,000 Kenmore Dehumidifiers Recalled

The Consumer Product Safety Commission has issued a recall of 795,000 Kenmore dehumidifiers sold at Sears and Kmart stores across the county. The agency said the dehumidifiers can overheat smoke, melt and catch fire, posing burn and injury risks to users. There have been seven reports of shorting and fires associated with the products, including one incident of a severe burn to a user.

Staff Report, PR Newswire 07/17/2013

Read Article: PR Newswire

Malpractice

TX Woman Awarded $367K in Malpractice Suit

A Houston woman has been awarded $367,500 in a medical malpractice lawsuit against a doctor in Victoria, Texas. In 2009, the doctor diagnosed the plaintiff with Stage IV terminal breast cancer, prompting her to give away much of her belongings, undergo painful treatment and prepare herself to die. The doctor, however, misread the lab results, and the woman did not have cancer. The award will likely be lowered to $250,000, complying with state laws that limit liability in malpractice claims.

Robert Stanton, Houston Chronicle 07/16/2013

Wrongful Death

Louisville PD Settles $700,000 Wrongful Death Suit

The Louisville Metro Police Department will pay $700,000 to settle a wrongful death lawsuit with the family of a 22-year-old girl who was killed when her car was hit by a police cruiser. The off-duty officer was traveling at 80 mph – twice the speed limit – when he slammed head-on into the girl’s car on a curve sloping down a hill. The suit accused the officer of driving “negligently and recklessly” and said that if he had been traveling the speed limit “he would have had time to stop twice before he hit her.”

Jason Riley, Louisville Courier Journal 07/17/2013

Laws/Cases

Trial Scheduled in ATM Fee Class-Action Suit

A class-action lawsuit is proceeding against a bar in Bloomington, Ind., over the failure to post notices regarding an ATM fee at the establishment. The ATM at the bar charged users a $1.50 transaction fee and, at the time, federal law required there be a notification sticker on every ATM regarding additional fees. A similar lawsuit was settled with an Indiana minor league baseball team and its ATM vendor last year for $50,000.

Suit: Texas Teacher Had Sex with Student

A lawsuit has been filed against a teacher in Willis, Texas and the local school district, claiming the teacher had oral sex with a female student and school officials ignored the behavior. The suit claims the teacher befriended the student and began sexually harassing her through text messages and physical gestures; the suit says the teacher eventually forced the victim to have oral sex against her will. The suit also alleges school officials “turned a blind eye” to the teacher’s behavior.

Robert Stanton, Houston Chronicle 07/15/2013

Experts: Civil Case Against Zimmerman May be Tough

Experts in the Justice Department have said that civil rights charges against George Zimmerman could be “extremely difficult [to bring] and may not be possible.” Attorney General Eric Holder Jr. has vowed to continue investigating Zimmerman on possible hate crime charges, but experts say making those charges stick will be tough because “it’s not clear that [Zimmerman] killed Martin because of his race.” The Justice Department would have to go beyond simply showing that Zimmerman followed Martin because of his race, but also prove that he attacked and killed him for that reason, experts say.

Philip Rucker and Sari Horwitz, The Washington Post 07/15/2013

Suit: Starbucks Discriminated Against Deaf Customers

A lawsuit has been filed against workers at various Starbucks in New York City on behalf of 12 deaf people, claiming they were harassed in the coffee shops. The lawsuit states that in one situation, Starbucks employees called police to try and remove 10 of the plaintiffs who were having a monthly meeting. Police found no illegal conduct and reprimanded employees. The plaintiffs have suffered “humiliation, embarrassment and emotional pain and suffering” at the hands of Starbucks employees, the suit says.

Wire Report, USA Today 07/15/2013

Iowa Doctor Accused of Sexually Harassing a Nurse

A lawsuit has been filed against the former medical director of Franklin General Hospital in Hampton, Iowa, claiming he sexually harassed and assaulted a former hospital nurse. In the suit, the plaintiff claims the doctor made “repeated requests for sexual favors,” “exposed her to sexual innuendo by e-mail” and sexually assaulted her on multiple occasions. In May the doctor pleaded guilty to one count of sexual exploitation in a criminal trial.

Mary Pieper, Waterloo Cedar Falls Courier 07/16/2013

Labor/Employment

Man Files Suit Against Fayetteville PWC

A former employee of the Fayetteville, N.C., Public Works Commission has filed a racial discrimination lawsuit against the agency after being fired. In his suit, the plaintiff alleges he was wrongfully fired from his position and that the PWC has a “notorious reputation for discriminating against its African American employees.” The plaintiff says his bosses fabricated theft claims against him to justify his termination.

Andrew Barksdale, Fayetteville Observer 07/16/2013

Issues

PA Attorney General Will Not Defend Challenge to Gay Marriage Ban

Kathleen Kale, the Attorney General of Pennsylvania, announced this week that she believes the state’s ban on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional and she will not defend it. A lawsuit was filed this week by 21 gay residents of the state who want the right to marry. The state’s general counsel will take over for the Attorney General. Similar suits have also recently been filed in Nevada, Illinois, Hawaii and New Jersey.

Liz Goodwin, Yahoo News 07/11/2013

TX Abortion Debate Heads to the Senate Floor

The Texas Senate committee voted 6-3 this week in favor of a restrictive abortion bill that would ban most abortions in the state after 20 weeks. This means it is headed for a final vote, possibly as early as today. Twelve states have now passed similar versions of a 20-week abortion ban, and those laws have so far been blocked by the courts in three states. Experts expect that the Texas ban, if passed, will be further battled in court.

Corrie MacLaggan, Reuters 07/12/2013

Laws/Cases

Suit: LA Officers Shot and Killed Dog for No Reason

A Los Angeles dog owner has filed suit against local sheriff’s deputies, claiming that they fired Tasers and shot at his dog, leaving it to bleed to death. Police were responding to a shooting in the neighborhood when the incident occurred. The plaintiff said his dog was fenced in his backyard when one of the deputies opened the gate and walked in and Tased the dog. When the dazed dog staggered out of the backyard, he was shot twice by another officer. Video footage of the incident has prompted outrage from the community and investigations into the officers’ behavior, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Robert J Lopez, LA Times 07/11/2013

Products

Company Recalls Malfunctioning Dive Computers

Scuba diving company Hollis has issued a recall of about 1,000 DG03 dive computers due to a defect that can cause the device to malfunction mid-dive. The company said the computer can malfunction, causing it to display an incorrect air pressure reading, which increases the risk of drowning. There have been two reports of dive computers malfunctioning, but no injuries occurred.

Staff Report, PR Newswire 07/11/2013

Hyundai Recalls 5,200 Vehicles

Automaker Hyundai has issued a recall of more than 5,000 Azera sedans, model years 2012-2013, due to the potential accidental activation of passenger-side airbags. The company said sensors in the front seat may fail to distinguish between small, light passengers – children – and larger passengers. This may mean that the airbag will not deactivate and thus inflate in certain situations, which could cause injury or death to a small child.

James R Healey, USA Today 07/10/2013

Malpractice

$6.4M Awarded in Medical Malpractice Suit

A St. Louis couple have been awarded $6.4 million in a medical malpractice lawsuit filed against a physician of SSM DePaul Medical Group over a stroke the man suffered in 2007. The suit claimed that in 1996, the doctor diagnosed the man with a mitral valve prolapse, and that a 2001 echocardiogram confirmed that diagnosis; however, the doctor never ordered any followup exams and the condition “disappeared” from the victim’s medical history over the next year. In 2007, the man suffered a stroke from an infection in his heart valve, which could have been prevented had the doctor ordered more tests or referred the man to a cardiology.

Walker Moskop, St. Louis Post Dispatch 07/09/2013

Issues

FDA Considering Changes to Generic Drug Labels

A recent notice filed by the Obama administration reveals that the Food and Drug Administration is working on a rule that could result in warning label changes on generic drugs. Under current FDA rules, generic drug makers are not allow to make public any potential changes to product warning labels (unlike brand-name drug manufacturers) without FDA action. The proposed changes would seemingly place brand-name and generic drug makers on equal footing in regards to warning labels, which may open the door to lawsuits from victims who suffered adverse affects from generic drugs.

Jon Healey, LA Times 07/08/2013

Laws/Cases

Outdoor Hammocks from H-E-B Recalled

The Consumer Product Safety Commission has issued a recall of about 700 Outdoor Solutions Hammocks sold at H-E-B due to a fall hazard. The agency said one of the seams in the hammock can unexpectedly open and rip, posing a fall hazard to users. There have been two reports of seams ripping while the hammock was in use, including minor injuries in one event.

Staff Report, PR Newswire 07/03/2013

Wisconsin Governor Signs New Abortion Law

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker has signed into law a new abortion bill that will require women to get an ultrasound before getting an abortion, among other things. In a statement, the governor’s office said the “bill improves a woman’s ability to make an informed choice that will protect her physical and mental health now and in the future.” The bill also requires doctors to have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals, which experts say could force two of the state’s abortion clinics to close down.

Brendan O’Brien, Reuters 07/05/2013

Products

Head Rest Problem Prompts Chrysler Recall

Chrysler Group LLC has announced it will recall 840,000 vehicles across the globe due to flaws in the active-restraint head rests. The recall covers 2011-2013 Chrysler Sebring, Chrysler 200, Dodge Avenger and Jeep Liberty vehicles, as well as 2011-2012 Dodge Nitro SUVs. The company said the microcomputer in the headrests may have faulty components, causing it to not function properly in the event of a crash.

Bernie Woodall, Chicago Tribune 07/08/2013

Wrongful Death

Trial in Priest Abuse & Suicide Begins Monday

A civil trial in a wrongful death lawsuit against a Kansas City priest and the Catholic Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph is scheduled to begin this week. The lawsuit centers around the suicide of a 14-year-old boy in 1983 who allegedly killed himself after being sexually abused by a local priest. The lawsuit also names the diocese as a defendant, saying church officials knew the priest was molesting boys but hid that knowledge from authorities.

Judy L. Thomas, Kansas City Star 07/08/2013

Read Article: Kansas City Star

Suit Filed over Virginia Hit-And-Run Death

A Virginia couple has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against a hit-and-run driver who struck and killed their daughter in Richmond last July. The girl was riding her bicycle home from work when she was hit from behind by the defendant. The lawsuit is seeking $5 million in damages. The defendant was recently sentenced to three years in prison.

Reed Williams, Richmond Times-Dispatch 07/06/2013

Read Article: Richmond Times-Dispatch

Laws/Cases

6,500 Toys R Us Toy Helicopters Recalled

The Consumer Product Safety Commission has issued a recall of more than 6,500 remote-controlled 3 channel helicopters due to a fire hazard. The toys, sold at Toys R Us, have a rechargeable battery that can overheat, posing a fire and burn hazard to users. There have been 11 reports worldwide of the battery overheating, but no injuries have occurred.

Staff Report, PR Newswire 07/03/2013

Defamation Suit Against TV Station Tossed Out

A judge in Chicago has tossed out a libel lawsuit filed by a former NBC-TV reporter who was fired in 2007 after a rival station showed a photo of her in a bathing suit with a person of interest in a prominent criminal case. The judge said the plaintiff “failed to show [the rival network] fabricated unfavorable content about her” in its news report. Lawyers for the plaintiff said they will appeal the ruling.

Ted Gregory, Chicago Tribune 07/05/2013

Suit Challenges Gay Marriage Ban in Texas

A Galveston, Texas man has filed a lawsuit seeking to overturn the state’s ban on same-sex marriage. The lawsuit references the recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling that declared part of the Defense of Marriage Act as unconstitutional.

Chris Paschenko, Galveston County – The Daily News 07/04/2013

Read Article: Galveston County – The Daily News

Physician Company Settles Overbilling Lawsuit

A Washington state company that provides doctors to local hospitals has agreed to pay $14.5 million to settle a lawsuit that accused the company of overbilling. The lawsuit, filed by a former employee of the company, claimed Sound Physicians “exaggerated the seriousness and extent of the work [doctors] performed on patients” when submitting claims to Medicare. The lawsuit said the company would pay its physicians based on the amount of fees the generated, prompting the high charges.

John Gille, The News Tribune 07/04/201 3

Oakland Settles $1.17 Million Police Force Suit

The City of Oakland has agreed to pay $1.17 million to settle a lawsuit with a dozen citizens who were injured during a police conflict against protestors at an Occupy Oakland event in 2011. The lawsuit accused officers of “willfully violating their own crowd control policy,” using improper weapons on the crowd and unconstitutional arrests.

Lee Romney, LA Times 07/03/2013

Wrongful Death

Suit Filed over Fatal Shooting of Mentally Ill Man

A wrongful death lawsuit has been filed against a Sacramento County deputy who shot and killed a mental patient last year. The lawsuit accuses the officer of using unnecessary deadly force in shooting the victim and then refusing to help the man as he lay “mortally wounded” on his parents’ floor. The lawsuit is seeking unspecified damages.

Denny Walsh, The Sacramento Bee 07/05/2013

Laws/Cases

Judge Tosses Three Sexual Abuse Lawsuits

A federal judge has dismissed three lawsuits against Kevin Clash, the former puppeteer of Elmo from “Sesame Street,” ruling the statute of limitations had expired on the plaintiffs’ claims of sexual abuse. In his ruling, the judge wrote that the statute of limitations began when the alleged abuse occurred, not when the plaintiffs connected psychological injuries to the events. A similar lawsuit against the puppeteer was withdrawn in April.

Elizabeth Jensen, The New York Times 07/01/2013

Hyundai to Pay $14 Million in Airbag Lawsuit

A jury has awarded $14 million to a Virginia man who suffered a brain injury in a car accident when the side airbags in his Hyundai Tiburon failed to deploy. The jury found that a defect in the car’s airbags were the main cause of the man’s injuries. The lawsuit filed against Hyundai claimed the airbags did not deploy because the sensors were put in the wrong location.

Jessica Dye, Reuters 07/02/2013

Labor/Employment

Florida Man Files Suit Against Cracker Barrel

A Florida man has filed suit against Cracker Barrel Old Country Store, claiming he was discriminated against by his boss because he is gay. In the suit, the plaintiff says he “experienced harassment and discrimination because of his sexual orientation,” including a situation where a manager told other staff members that a customer “might be afraid he’ll catch AIDS” from the plaintiff.

Wire Report, Naples News 07/02/2013

Products

20,000 Bel Air Lighting Chandeliers Recalled

Consumer Product Safety Commission has issued a recall of more than 20,000 nine-light chandeliers from Bel Air Lighting due to injury hazards. The agency said the mounting loop that holds the chandeliers to the ceiling can break, causing them to fall. There have been 18 reports of chandeliers failing and minor property damage.

Staff Report, PR Newswire 06/25/2013

Issues Recall over Child Lock Problems

Ford Motors has issued a recall of more than 13,000 2013 Ford Explorer, Taurus and Lincoln MKS models over problems with the child safety locks. The company said the locks on the vehicles’ rear doors may not work properly. There have been no accidents or injuries reported in association with the recalled vehicles.

Joseph Lichterman, Reuters 06/28/2013

Wrongful Death

Suit Filed over Woman Electrocuted to Death

The death of a woman at Lake Sinclair in Eatonton, Ga., has prompted a lawsuit against the owner of a lake dock by where the woman was electrocuted. The dock flooring had recently been replaced and an outlet box and bare wire had been left exposed. The suit claims that while the woman was swimming, she came in contact with the wire or the box and was electrocuted. The suit is seeking unspecified damages.

Amy Leigh Womack, Macon Telegraph 07/01/2013

Laws/Cases

West Files Suit over Fertilizer Plant Explosion

The city of West, Texas, has filed a lawsuit against the owner of the fertilizer plant that exploded in April, killing 15 people and resulting in millions of dollars in property damage. The lawsuit claims the ammonium nitrate in the plant was “unreasonably dangerous and defective and was negligently stored. The city has estimated it has more than $17 million in uninsured losses from the explosion.

Brenda Bell, Austin American Statesman 06/27/2013

Read Article: Austin American Statesman

Suit: AA Meetings Attract Sexual Predators

A lawsuit has been filed against the non-profit organization Alcoholics Anonymous claiming the group attracts people who exploit others sexually and financially. The suit was filed on behalf of a woman who was killed by a fellow AA participant. The suit says AA has a “reckless disregard for, and deliberate indifference…to the safety and security of victims attending AA meetings.”

Martha Neil, American Bar Association Journal 06/27/2013

Read Article: American Bar Association Journal

Supreme Court Rules on Native American Adoption Case

The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that a couple that adopted a Native American child will retain custody of the child and that the Indian Child Welfare Act does not apply. The child’s father, who is part of the Cherokee Nation – had filed for custody under the ICWA, but the judge ruled that since he abandoned the child before birth and never had custody, the law doesn’t apply.

Lee Rawles, American Bar Association Journal 06/25/2013

Read Article: American Bar Association Journal

Girl Abused by Teacher Awarded $5.6 Million

A Los Angeles jury has awarded $5.6 million to a teenaged girl who was sexually abused by a teacher at Chino Hills High School. The lawsuit contended that district officials discovered the teacher had sent inappropriate e-mails to the student and did nothing to protect the victim or keep the teacher away from her.

Richard Winton, LA Times 06/26/2013

Read Article: LA Times

Products

700,000 Swan Creek Candles Recalled

The Consumer Product Safety Commission has issued a recall of more than 700,000 Loose Votive Candles from Swan Creek Candle Co. due to a fire hazard. The agency said the candles can burn with a high flame, posing a fire and burn hazard to users. The company has received 89 reports of candles with “high or erratic flames” and four reports of minor burns.

Staff Report, PR Newswire 06/27/2013

Read Article: PR Newswire

Mitsubishi Recalls Outlander Sport SUVs from 2011

Mitsubishi Motors Corp has issued a recall of almost 3,200 Outlander Sport SUVs due to a defect with the car’s glass roof. The company found that the 2011 model-year vehicles have glass ceilings that can unexpectedly detach due to primer not being properly used in the installation process. There have been two complaints of the glass detaching from customers outside the U.S., but no injuries have been reported.

Staff Report, Yahoo News 06/27/2013

Laws/Cases

Gay Couple Assaulted by Border Officer, Suit Says

A federal judge from Los Angeles and his husband have filed a $3 million lawsuit against U.S. Customs and Border Protection after an officer allegedly asked to see their marriage license after returning from a trip to Mexico and eventually assaulted them. The plaintiffs say the CBP agent initially refused to allow them back into the United States at the Los Angeles Airport when they refused to produce the marriage license. When the plaintiffs protested, they were “surrounded by five armed CBP officers and separated” and assaulted in the process.

Matt Reynolds, Courthouse News Service 05/20/2013

Read Article: Courthouse News Service

Texas DPS Settles Cavity Search Lawsuit

The Texas Department of Public Safety has agreed to pay $185,000 to settle a lawsuit filed by two Dallas women who were subjected to body cavity searches along a local highway. The two women were subjected to cavity searches with the same glove, the suit says, and no drugs or contraband were found. The female officer who conducted the searches has been fired and faces two counts of sexual assault.

Wire Report, KHOU-TV 06/26/2013

Read Article: KHOU-TV

Suit Settled over Foot Injury Sustained at NY Factory

A New York paper manufacturer will pay $1 million to settle a suit with a former employee who was seriously injured in 2007 when his foot got caught in a factory machine. The man’s foot became caught in a “nip joint” between two rollers on the machine. It took co-workers more than 30 minutes to free him.

Bob Gardinier, Albany Times Union 06/26/2013

Read Article: Albany Times Union

Suit Filed Against Friends over Girl’s Disappearance

The parents of an Indiana University student who disappeared two years ago have filed suit against three fellow students who were with the girl the night she vanished. The lawsuit claims the three defendants were negligent and owed the girl a “duty of care” to make sure she got home safely after a long night of drinking. The girl’s parents believe that those who were with their daughter on the night she disappeared “have not been forthcoming about what they know.” No criminal charges have been filed against the defendants.

Alex Campbell, Indianapolis Star 06/27/2013

Read Article: Indianapolis Star

Products

56,000 Buff Baby Rattles Recalled

The Consumer Product Safety Commission and Health Canada have issued a recall of more than 56,000 “Buff Baby” baby rattles from Fred & Friends across North America due to a choking hazard. The agencies said the rattles can break apart and release small parts from inside, which can pose choking risks to small children. There have been two reports of rattles breaking apart, but no injuries occurred.

Staff Report, PR Newswire 06/27/2013

Read Article: PR Newswire

Malpractice

Man Files Malpractice Suit Against Missouri Clinic

A Missouri man has filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against Mercy Clinic in Springfield, Mo., claiming physicians at the clinic failed to properly treat him to stop the spreading of flesh-eating bacteria. The man went to the clinic’s emergency room in 2010 but was seen only briefly and then discharged. Four days later he was rushed back for a series of emergency surgeries to remove infected tissue that had ravaged his buttocks and left leg. The plaintiff claims he was initially discharged from the ER because he had no primary insurance and he was deemed “bad debt.”

Jim Doyle, St. Louis Post Dispatch 06/02/2013

Laws/Cases

Girl Files Suit over Unlawful Use of Facebook Photo

A Georgia student has filed a lawsuit for $2 million against the district in which she attended high school, claiming a district administrator used a photo of her in a bikini on Facebook at a conference to demonstrate “the lasting effects of posting photos on social media sites.” The photo was shown at a district conference with the caption “once it’s there, it’s there to stay.” The plaintiff says the photo was used without her consent, and that she posted it to her Facebook page thinking that only her friends would be able to see it. The suit claims the use of the photo wrongly suggests the plaintiff is promiscuous and abuses alcohol.

Carol Kuruvilla , New York Daily News 06/22/2013

Read Article: New York Daily News

Court: Suits Can’t be Filed over Generic Drugs

The Supreme Court has ruled that Americans cannot file suit against generic drug makers over defects in the drugs. The majority ruling stated that since the Food and Drug Administration approved the drug for sale, “federal approval trumps a state’s consumer protections laws.” The ruling stems from a suit filed by a New Hampshire woman who suffered a severe allergic reaction after taking a generic pill to relieve shoulder pain.

David G. Savage, LA Times 06/24/2013

Read Article: LA Times

E. Coli Outbreak in Chicago Prompts Suit

A Chicago woman has filed suit against a local Mexican restaurant that has been closed down due to a potential E. coli outbreak. The woman says she was hospitalized for five days after eating a steak taco at the restaurant. She had a high fever, vomiting, pain and a distended stomach. She is seeking $50,000 in damages in the suit.

Annemarie Mannion, Chicago Tribune 06/20/2013

Read Article: Chicago Tribune

Labor/Employment

Vermont Woman Awarded $100K in Discrimination Suit

A federal judge has ruled that a Vermont woman is entitled to compensation in a lawsuit filed against her employer over gender and age discrimination. The judge found that the woman was paid less than her male successor, and that the pay differential was “unexplained by gender-neutral, bona-fide and business-related factors.” The court has ordered the defendant to pay more than $100,000 in the settlement.

Matt Ryan, Burlington Free Press 06/13/2013

Read Article: Burlington Free Press

Products

Loblaw Recalls Vegetable Pasta Soups

Loblaw Companies Limited has issued a recall of its Chunky Vegetable Pasta Soup due to an undeclared allergen present in the product. The company said it discovered the soup may contain beef and milk ingredients not listed on the label. There have been no illnesses reported.

Staff Report, PR Newswire 06/21/2013

Read Article: PR Newswire

Wrongful Death

Judge: Wrongful Death Suit to Stay in Hawaii

A federal judge in Honolulu has ruled that a wrongful death lawsuit will move forward in Hawaii, not Colorado. The suit was filed by the parents of a 15-year-old boy who was swept out to sea during a kayaking trip last year. The kayaking company is based in Colorado, and had petitioned the court to move the case there.

Jennifer Sinco Kelleher, Honolulu Advertiser 06/24/2013

Laws/Cases

Suit Filed After Restaurant Deck Falls into Bay

A Florida couple has filed suit against a Miami bar and grill after the restaurant’s deck collapsed into Biscayne Bay last week, injuring several patrons. The lawsuit, which is the first of many expected to come against Shuckers Bar and Grill, claims the restaurant failed to properly maintain the deck and didn’t warn patrons of the potentially dangerous conditions. The plaintiffs say they both suffered “bodily injury, disfigurement, mental anguish, and aggravated previously existing conditions.”

Charles Rabin, Miami Herald 06/19/2013

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Suit Filed After Woman Killed on Party Bus

The death of a young mother who fell off a party bus in May has prompted a suit against the owners and operators of the bus. The lawsuit claims the driver of the bus unlatched safety devices from the bus’s double doors, and when the bus hit a bump in the road, the doors swung open and the woman was sucked out. Kansas Highway Patrol found several “egregious regulatory safety violations” in a post-accident inspection. The lawsuit is seeking unspecified damages.

Tony Rizzo, Kansas City Star 06/18/2013

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NFL Player Named in Shooting Lawsuit

A lawsuit has been filed against New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez, claiming he shot a man in the face near a Miami gentlemen’s club. The lawsuit alleges that Hernandez and the victim were arguing and Hernandez produced the weapon; the weapon went off – possibly by accident – striking the victim in the eye. The plaintiff lost his right eye and has screws in his head as a result of the injury. The lawsuit is seeking unspecified damages.

Kevin Armstrong, New York Daily News 06/20/2013

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Products

96,000 Jeep Liberty Strollers Recalled

The Consumer Product Safety Commission has issued a recall of about 96,000 Jeep Liberty strollers due to a projectile hazard. The agency said the stroller tires can rupture, causing the wheel rims to fly off, posing a risk of bodily injury to bystanders. There have been 18 reports of injuries involving the defective wheels.

Staff Report, PR Newswire 06/19/2013

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